SAN FRANCISCO - As Microsoft continues to deepen its relationship with the open-source software movement, it announced May 21 that it plans to release a beta version of a new product that enables data centers to manage Linux servers with the Microsoft System Center management platform.
At the Open Source Business Conference 2012 here, Microsoft and Linux distributor SUSE jointly announced the SUSE Manager Management Pack for System Center, which integrates SUSE's management platform with that of Microsoft.
The integration between the two management systems will maintain compliance in Linux server environments, particularly in keeping Linux systems patched and updated, said Fabio Cunha, a Microsoft solutions technology evangelist, who gave a demonstration of the new technology at the conference.
"This integration between System Center and SUSE Manager is giving our customers the ability to manage both Windows environments and Linux environments holistically from a single console," explained Alan Clark, director of industry initiatives and emerging standards at SUSE.
The integration of Microsoft's proprietary software and SUSE's open-source software is part of a continuing trend in which Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors are accepting the permanence of open source in IT and the fact that both sides have to make their software operable with each other's in heterogeneous environments.
"When vendors work together, we bring additional value to [the customers'] environment," said Clark.
Interoperability is also essential in cloud computing environments where servers, storage, networking and software are managed as one complete IT resource, said Sandy Gupta, general manager of the Microsoft Open Solutions Group, which manages Microsoft's relationships with the open-source community.
The cloud "needs to be adaptable to heterogeneous environments where virtualization is done on multiple hypervisors and operating systems," said Gupta, in a keynote address at the conference.
Initially, Microsoft resisted open source and derided it as unreliable. But Microsoft, as well as software giants such as SAP, Oracle and IBM, have come to the conclusion that open source is here to stay and that the best way to protect their own software business is to be interoperable with open-source alternatives and support open-source projects, said Matt Aslett, a research manager in data management and analytics at 451 Research Group.
"Microsoft does that because it sees the opportunity to grow the Windows market, the SQL Server market and the Office market by collaborating with open source," Aslett said. "No company contributes to an open-source project to be nice. They all do it to make money with whatever their revenue stream happens to be."
The Open Source Business Conference 2012 agenda touched on the three hottest trends in tech, all of them with active open-source projects ongoing: mobile computing, including Google's Android mobile operating system; big data, such as the Apache Hadoop project led by Google and Yahoo; and cloud computing projects, such as the Open Stack initiative to create an open-source software stack for cloud environments.